Saturday, November 1, 2014

My Apostrophe

I think you mean epiphany.

That's one of my favorite lines/scenes from the movie Hook with Robin Williams. Captain Hook and Smee and it's funny.

So here's my epiphany. Every single Halloween since we've moved here we have been targeted by some kids my boys go to school with for teepeeing. Last year I was so sick of it that I staked out my front yard--so the little snots went around to the back yard where we have more, higher trees with many more branches, and went to town.

(This year, with Halloween falling on a Friday night football night, the city chose to have the trick or treating tonight instead. November 1st. And because the kids involved were at the game last night, I fully expect an attack tonight.) 

This issue has been the source of much thought and discussion in my house, and in the days and weeks leading up to Halloween this year I've had to make a game plan. My oldest son wants to plan a stakeout and watch our whole property all night long. And I had a breakthrough of sorts--I don't have time for that crap.

Seriously, I'm not going to ruin my whole evening and a night of sleep because some kids want to be annoying. I have a life, I have plans. I need my sleep.

That breakthrough led to my epiphany. Now I understand why this yearly ritual of theirs makes me so mad.

I feel targeted. I feel singled out. If this was a random thing that happened to us once a year at different times, or over the summer, I would probably care much MUCH less. But the kids who do this razz my kids at school in the week leading up to it about how much fun they're going to have teepeeing our house.

It's not the toilet paper in my trees that bugs me, or the time we've spent as a family cleaning it up. Because, and I'm being honest here, I've done this in my youth. I've found it incredibly fun and exciting to sneak up to someone's house and throw toilet paper over branches, all the while knowing at any moment someone could come out and discover me/us. It gets the adrenaline pumping.

It's not about the toilet paper. It's about how being singled out and targeted makes me feel. And that's not the fault of the kids doing the toilet papering. IT'S NOT THEIR FAULT. They are not in charge of how I choose to feel.

I'm sick of this No-fault society where personal accountability has no meaning anymore. And if I want people to take personal responsibility for their actions/feelings/reactions it would be hypocritical of me to refuse to do it myself. These teens are just out to have fun. I'm certain they don't mean anything by it. And that it makes me feel all territorial and that I must PROTECT MY OWN is not on them. That's me. That's all me. They are not in charge of my feelings.

Don't get me wrong. I'm still going to grumble about having to clean up the mess every year. And it will probably still irritate me that they keep targeting our house every. Single. Halloween. But I'm going to stop projecting my feelings at them. They're just kids out to have fun.

Although last night we had our first freeze warning of the year and as I curled into my nice warm bed I couldn't help but smile at how, if they teepee us this year, they're the ones who are going to be out in the cold and be uncomfortable while I'm inside toasty warm and, hopefully, asleep.